READINGS for 2007-12-17
WHERE WE BELONG
So then there were fourteen generations... – Matthew 1:17
My husband Ed’s left ear is different from his right ear. The edge of his right ear has a smooth curve. The edge of his left ear has this little protruding flesh at the upper portion.
We have two children—Ronaldo and Paolo— and both have the same ears as their father’s. So when our first grandson Dylan was born, we knew right away that he belonged to us because he had the same ears as my husband and children.
In today’s readings, we learn that Jesus comes all the way from Abraham, “father of many,” originally from the word Abram which means “father is exalted.” Abraham proved his faithfulness to God when he willingly offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice. God did not allow that Isaac be killed and rewarded Abraham by making Him the ancestor of the Messiah.
We know, of course, that Jesus is not only the Son of Joseph and Mary. Jesus is the Son of God who has created all of us His children in His image and likeness. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jesus has the same ears as my husband and children, or any of the features you and I have. But what matters is, are we really like Him? Cynthia S.
Are you you really like Him?
Father God, thank You for making us Your own. Help us to be worthy members of Your beautiful family.
Genesis 49:2, 8-10
God has promised that the Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah. When God speaks we can be sure that it will come to pass. From the very beginning when God spoke and created the world (Gen 1) we have been witnesses to the dynamic power of the Word of God. Let us open our lives to this power and see what God will do with us.
2 “Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father. 8 “You, Judah, shall your brothers praise — your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you. 9 Judah, like a lion’s whelp, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crouches like a lion recumbent, the king of beasts — who would dare rouse him? 10 The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, while tribute is brought to him, and he receives the peoples’ homage.”
P S A L M
Psalm 72:1-2, 3-4, 7-8, 17
R: Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
1 O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king’s son; 2 He shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. (R) 3 The mountains shall yield peace for the people, and the hills justice. 4 He shall defend the afflicted among the people, save the children of the poor. (R) 7 Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. 8 May he rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. (R) 17 May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness. (R)
G O S P E L
This genealogy traces Jesus’ origins through Joseph, His foster father, back to Abraham. This situates Jesus within the context of the work of God among the Jewish People. It affirms the possibility that He is the Messiah as we see that He is a descendantof Judah and David. The genealogy, while somewhat boring to read and listen to, contains many clues concerning the identity of Jesus and His mission if only we will study it carefully. For example, what is unusual about all the women mentioned in it?
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4 Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, 6 Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. 8 Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. 12 After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, 15 Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah. 17 Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
think: When God speaks we can be sure that it will come to pass.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Titus 1-3/Philemon
A TWIST: GOD IS THE BEGGING WIDOW!
Thomas Keating, the Cistercian monk who is known worldwide as the founder of the Centering Prayer movement, advocates a fresh way of meditating on the “Parable of the Widow and the Corrupt Judge.” He says that it may be good to get the story out of the limited context of Luke’s narration. For one thing, even Biblical scholars maintain that the present parables of Jesus could have undergone a good deal of re-interpretation as the evangelists wove them into their interpretative account of the life of Jesus. This is the whole point of what they call “redaction criticism.”
Taken out of the Lukan limitations, the Parable of the Widow and the Corrupt Judge stands out as a story about the Kingdom of God. For Jesus, the Kingdom of God was the justification and foundation of his life, mission and preaching. From this pristine point of reflection, then we realize that God cannot be compared to anyone unjust and corrupt like the judge. We are the ones who are corrupt and unjust in ways. Not only are we unjust with others, but with God. Many times, adsorbed in the affairs of the earth, we fail to give God what is due. God is the begging widow . Though strong, he chooses to be helpless and gentle like a woman (cf. also Luke 15:8-10).
The Parable we have today then is an invitation of God: “Do me justice… give me the time and the thanksgiving and the adoration that is due to me.” God is the Divine Widow pounding on us morning, noon and night. God continues to come to us through persons, events, our own thoughts and feelings, our consciences, our readings. Many times we put “her” off. In the end, many times, we finally give the Divine Widow her due not because we have turned just, but because we simply cannot stand the importunities of grace. Fr. Domie, SSP
REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you giving the Almighty God his due from your life – out of your time, talent and treasures? From which of these is it easiest for you to give? From which of these do you find hardest to give? Recall an experience you had in life when indeed you can say that God was the “begging widow”?
For the times, we did not recognize You, forgive us.
Blessed Salomea, abbess, pray for us.
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